Monday Mornings with Madison

The Power of Podcasting, Part 4

Word Count: 2,044
Estimated Read Time: 8 min.

Promoting a Podcast Properly

Many companies are deciding to dip a toe in the uber-popular ocean of podcasting.  Perhaps your organization has too.  The groundwork has been done.  Clearly, a lot of work has already gone into getting the podcast off the ground.  It might have taken weeks or months to get to this point.  The desire to publish the first show immediately after recording/editing it will be overwhelming.  Don’t.  That would be a rookie mistake. Continue reading

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The Power of Podcasting, Part 3

Word Count: 1,603
Estimated Read Time: 6 min.

On Your Mark, Get Set, Podcast

Your company has decided to join the podcasting bandwagon.  Some might be excited about it and think it will be an easy endeavor.  Others might find the idea daunting and a little scary.  After all, so much can go wrong when dealing with mass media and technology.  Well, it is not a marketing strategy that should be entered into lightly, but for companies that are motivated and committed, it is definitely doable.  While getting started does take time and effort, it can be well worth it if the podcast is well-received and aligns with the company’s goals.  After all, podcasting is a great way to reach the masses cost effectively, and allows the hosts to delve into rich, complex and sophisticated topics in a way that articles, tweets and social media posts don’t.  So rather than dreading it, it should be considered a golden opportunity to take customer engagement to a whole other level and reach the masses in a personal way that no other marketing effort can deliver.

So let’s look at what it takes develop and prepare to produce a podcast. Continue reading

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The Power of Podcasting, Part 2

Word Count: 1,584
Estimated Read Time: 6 min.

A Plethora of Podcasting Benefits

The Penchant for Podcasting

Podcasts are everywhere.  People love them!  But why?  Let’s start by defining exactly what a podcast is.  According to Podcast Insights, “a podcast is an episodic series of spoken-word digital audio files that a listener / subscriber can download to a personal device for easy listening. Streaming applications and podcasting services provide a convenient, integrated way to manage a personal consumption queue across many podcast sources and playback devices.”  So it’s like a radio program that can be listened to anytime, anywhere, and is specifically about a topic of interest. Continue reading

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The Power of Podcasting, Part 1

Word Count: 1,490
Estimated Read Time: 6 min.

To Podcast or Not to Podcast

The Popularity of Podcasts

Podcasts are now everywhere.  Thanks to the ubiquitous cell phone as well as music and radio streaming services, people have easy access to a wide range of podcasts to listen to whenever they have time to “listen” but not necessarily “look/see” such as riding a bike, working out, folding laundry, washing the car, riding a train, driving to work or taking the dog for a walk.  “What podcasts are you listening to?” is replacing “What are you reading?” as the most common and telling get-to-know you question.  If you haven’t listened to a podcast yet, you are the exception, not the rule.  A recent survey found that 82.4% of Americans listen to podcasts more than seven hours a week, and 59% of respondents spent more time listening to podcasts than on social media.  Even more interesting for businesses, 55.6% of respondents said they purchased an item after hearing it advertised on a podcast.  So people are tuning in to podcasts and really listening, and here’s why.  Apple showed over 800,000 podcasts being published in December 2019 and Podcast Insights reported 850,000 active podcasts offering more than 30 million podcast episodes in January 2020.  Considering there were just 500,000 active podcasts in February 2018, this is pretty dramatic growth.  However, Google says there are over 2,000,000 podcasts today.  That’s a lot of content.  Topics span just about every genre, diving into every topic imaginable.  Every topic.  Business.  Finance.  Leadership.  Politics.  Music.  Food.  Art.  Movies.  Games.  Sports.  Religion. Parenting.  Design.  You name it. Continue reading

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Business Strategies to Thrive in a Post-Covid World

Word Count: 1,539
Estimated Read Time: 6 min.

There is no doubt that the pandemic of 2020 is having an impact on most people and businesses.  For many, it is having a profound emotional, social, and financial impact.  And for some, it is shattering lives, destroying dreams and crushing companies.  It is tragic.  But there is also no doubt that this too shall pass, and soon – perhaps not soon enough — there will be treatments and an inoculation that will make Covid a thing of the past. Continue reading

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When Personal and Professional Collide: How to Set Solid Boundaries between Home and Work Life – Part 2

Word Count: 1,259
Estimated Read Time: 5 min.

Part 2

Coworkers, managers and vendors are getting an inside peek into the understandably less-than-perfect personal lives of their colleagues.  What they see and hear is often far from crisp, clean and cultured.  Pets interrupt Zoom calls.  Lawn mowers buzz in the background of important work calls.  Amazon vendors ring the doorbell five minutes into the weekly sales update with the boss.  Children barge into the “home office” demanding lunch at 11:21 am.  Like life, it is untidy.  For the masses telecommuting for the first time in their lives, home life keeps spilling into work time… and invariably at the most inopportune moments.  What is a pro to do?  It can seem practically impossible to keep the lines of separation between work and home.  But the employer who laid off 50 workers and is keeping a specific employee on the payroll, expects competence and class. Continue reading

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When Personal and Professional Collide: How to Set Solid Boundaries between Home and Work Life

Word Count: 1,701
Estimated Read Time: 7 min.

Part 1

While remote work had already been on the rise — growing 159% from 2005 to 2017 – it still made up only a small percentage of the workforce’s employment location.  Far less than 10% of the U.S. workforce was telecommuting at least half of their work time a year ago.  However, Covid changed all that in an instant, pushing over 100 million workers into full-time remote work situations practically overnight.  And, for many businesses, there really was no choice.  It was either work remotely or shut down.  Most business leaders wisely chose to pivot to remote work.  Security was beefed up.  Technology hardware and software was purchased.  Internet connections were enhanced for everyone.  And processes were chiseled together for how to get work done that had previously been done live and face-to-face.  Some tasks changed and some projects were put on hold or halted altogether. Continue reading

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Staffing and Service when Business Scales Back During Covid

Word Count: 1,480
Estimated Read Time: 6 min.

No One Wants To Hear “It’s not my job”

Flu season, vacation time or an unexpected rush of orders can cause any business to be overloaded with work and understaffed.  Usually that is a temporary situation that can be handled until the load eases or new employees are hired.  A simple shifting of responsibilities and emphasis on teamwork to get through the crunch will often suffice.  But what is a business to do if it has laid off 80% of its employees in the age of Covid?

After all, no customer wants to hear an employee at a business say “Sorry, I can’t help you.  I’ve already shut down for the day” or be told “Due to our abbreviated hours, we are unable to help you today.  Check back tomorrow.”   Likewise, no coworker wants to hear a colleague say “I’ve exceeded my hours and can’t help you today” or “That’s no longer a part of my job.”    The “It’s-not-my-job” response comes across like a lead balloon.  It is not a response anyone wants to hear when asking for help. Continue reading

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To Rehire or Not Rehire, That is the Question: Handling a Leadership Conundrum

Word Count: 1,977
Estimated Read Time: 8 min.

With over 30 million people either on furlough or laid off, business leaders are now faced with the task of deciding what to do now that businesses are allowed to reopen.  On the one hand, there is concern that of a new wave of infection (soon or in the Fall when schools reopen and the weather turns cold again) could lead to a second wave of hospitalizations and a renewed need to “shut down” again.  The thought of having to lay off employees and shut down again is enough to make some businesses pause.  On the other hand, it is that very pause – a failure to get the workforce back to work… earning and spending — that could hinder the speedy economic recovery that would allow businesses to recover some what was lost in March, April and May. Continue reading

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Supercharging Sales in Tough Times

Word Count: 1,293
Estimated Read Time: 5 min.

In the past, if someone needed to earn big money fast – and the person wasn’t a technology genius, inventor, insightful stock trader or creative scientist — he or she might become a salesperson.  Accomplished salespeople usually make a very good living.  Until March of this year, countless people were involved in sales.  Some were in real estate sales making big money.  They were Realtors, new home salespeople, mortgage lenders, and the like. Some were in technology, selling software as a service, Google Ads or hawking products on Amazon.   Still others were in traditional mediums such as luxury vehicle and jewelry sales.  At companies from Facebook to Ferrari to Fendi — as well as millions of little-known brands — top salespeople were treated like gold.  Bigger companies sought to ‘lure’ the top producers away, offering bigger commissions, better benefits and nicer work conditions. Continue reading

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